Do you have Selective Attention?

It’s the season for parties, get-togethers and crowds.  Have you ever had trouble putting background noise in the background and focusing on the conversation that is in front of you?

This discovery may hold the key to explaining why some people, who do not have hearing problems, still find it difficult to keep track of conversations in large crowds.

A group of neurons in the auditory processing areas of the brainstem help us to tune into specific conversations in a crowded room.

It could be that the neurons in their auditory brainstem, associated with receiving pitch signals, are not properly activated. 

This process of focusing on the voice of the speaker is called “selective attention” and that it happens in the part of the brain called the auditory cortex, which processes speech information.

Selective attention helps the brain to modulate sound information and to prioritize information over the background noise, such as focusing on one conversation above all others in a crowded room. However, what triggers selective attention in the auditory cortex has been debated by scientists.